When we tell people that ‘we believe the Quran alone is all we need’. They will respond by claiming we have denied the sunnah of the messenger because Allah say ‘’obey Allah and the messenger’’ in the Quran. And they claim that ‘obey Allah’ refer to the Quran, and ‘obey the messenger’ with the books of Hadith and sunnah. So they believe obey Allah and the messenger is to follow two different sources.
So lets study the phrase ‘obey Allah and the messenger’ from a quranic point.
The first observation: The Quran always say ‘obey Allah and the messenger’. Never does it say ‘obey the prophet or obey Muhammad. It is always ‘obey Allah and the messenger’. So it is important to understand what the term ‘messenger (rasool) means. And why Allah didn’t say ‘obey the prophet (nabi)’? Muhammad/Rasulullah had two status: the status of NUBUWA (Prophethood) and the status of Rasool (messenger). The status of NUBUWA means high or elevated place’. This means that Allah has chosen Muhammad/Rasulullah, out of all the human, to communicate with him certain news, prophecies, etc. So the status of NUBUWA (prophet) mean that a human being is communicating with Allah.
The status of Rasool-God tell us the status of Rasool in Quran:
(5:67) O messenger, deliver what was sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not delivered his massage. We see that God clearly tells us the duty of the messenger is to deliver the message of the Allah. Allah also says: (24:54)….there is nothing upon the messenger except the clear delivery. This teaches us that the soul duty of the messenger is to deliver the message to the people. So if God didn’t give Muhammad/Rasulullah the ‘Message’ then he would not be called messerger (Rasool). So Allah call him ‘rasool’ because Muhammad/Rasulullah is carrying the ‘message’. What is this message that Muhammad/Rasulullah carried?
The messenger himself answers this in the Quran: (6:19) This Quran has been inspired to me to deliver it to you and whoever it reaches…. All these verse teach us that the duty of a messenger is to deliver the message. Muhammad/Rasulullah – the messenger-is required to send us the Quran. So when Allah says ‘’obey the messenger’ we are essentially obeying the message the message itself. Another observation: Allah say in the Quran (4: 80) “whoever obey the messenger, has obeyed Allah…” This means when we obey the messenger-the message-the Quran, we have in reality obeyed God.
All these verses teaches us that ‘obey Allah and the messenger’ is essentially obeying ONE source –the Quran. Let’s assume that the Quran tell us “obey Allah’’ without mentioning obeying the messenger. How would we do that? This would mean that Allah himself would have to come to earth and give us the Quran directly. This of course is illogical.
This is why we are to ‘obey Allah and messenger’ because Allah gave Muhammad/Rasulullah ‘the message’ which makes him ‘a messenger’. And the messenger is required to deliver it to humanity. So this is what ‘obey Allah and messenger’ means from the Quran “obey Allah and the messenger” is essentially One source- the Quran. We obey the messenger because he has ‘the message’.